1966 Austin-Healey BJ8 Race CarA Street Car That is Raced
Ed Muncie has been campaigning this car since 2014 with great results. Purchased in 2013, Ed decided he wanted to go racing with his new acquisition.
After many long conversations, we decided on a short and long term plan for the car’s build. Primarily Ed wanted to be able to continue to drive the car on the street, but also be able to push the car to its limits at the track. Obviously compromises had to made, but working together we have done well in fulfilling his needs.
Wanting a truly vintage look and feel to the car, Ed opted for a rally style hardtop and lights and the simple British Racing Green paint. We decide to initially invest the time and effort in three area areas; safety, handling, and braking.
The suspension was upgraded to higher rate springs and re-valved shocks. The camber was altered and the wire wheels were replaced with cast Panasports for better rigidity. Sway bar sizes were increased and other minor tweaks were performed. The car retained it original ride height to make street travel far less treacherous to the expensive bits underneath.
As Ed makes his living as a risk management executive, we had to make sure we got the safety thing just right. The mods were done in conjunction with commonly acceptable vintage racing General Competition Rule specifications. An FIA acceptable fuel cell, Four point roll bar, Sparco racing seats, and Schroth belts keep Ed safe and firmly in place.
His interior looks completely normal with stock instruments and switches. The fire bottle and emergency shut off switch were integrated into the roll bar and top. The ignition wiring was modified to insure proper disconnection in case of an emergency. In an effort to keep the driver the proper 2” below the rollbar height, we agreed to lower the floors 1.75” inches to accommodate Ed’s height and retain the hard top. This allowed the seats to be lowered appropriately.
The brakes were upgraded to racing pads and fluids and have held up admirably. The car has been super reliable, and the key was to not have so many changes and upgrades that we could not sort and performance issues separately.
The current plan for the off season prior to 2016 is to build a reliable high performance motor, that will allow track performance with street tractability. Stay tuned.